Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

STEP 1. Complete the admission process for your degree of study.

To which program are you applying?

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Graduate Programs

To be eligible for financial aid, students need to be admitted and enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate educational program or approved certificate program. The Office of Graduate Admission will advise the Office of Financial Aid when you have completed this process.

Students who have not been admitted into the University are considered guest students. Guest students are not eligible to receive Federal or State financial aid. Please be sure to contact Student Business Services to make other payment arrangements for any registered course(s).

Institute of Professional Studies / Accelerated Undergraduate Degree Completion Program

To be eligible for financial assistance, students must be admitted in a degree-seeking Accelerated Undergraduate Program. The Accelerated Degree Admission Office will advise the Office of Financial Aid when you have completed this process.

Students who have not been admitted into the University are considered guest students.  Guest students are not eligible to receive Federal or State financial aid. Please be sure to contact Student Business Services to make other payment arrangements for any registered course(s).

STEP 2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA).

This is an online application submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

  • In order for Concordia-Chicago to receive the results, you must enter CUC’s Federal School Code: 001666.
  • The FAFSA must be completed annually to ensure federal aid eligibility for each academic year.
  • You may be required to submit additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid in order to determine financial aid eligibility. View your required documents by logging into Concordia Connect.
  • Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will be able to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. Students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
  • It may take at least three business days for CUC to receive your completed FAFSA information from the government.

STEP 3. Accept your financial aid award.

Admitted students with a completed FAFSA on file will receive a financial aid award from the Office of Financial Aid. You must confirm your award by accepting or declining the offered amount(s).

New students have two options in accepting or declining their award(s):

  • Online Acceptance: ALL students must accept the terms and conditions online. You may do so by logging in to https://connect.cuchicago.edu and clicking on Billing/Financial Aid located on the left-hand side. In the right-hand column, select Financial Aid Awards under View My Financial Aid Awards. Be sure to select the correct academic year. Then, select the Terms & Conditions tab. Once you have thoroughly read and understand the information, click Accept and then you can proceed to making award decisions. After accepting the Terms & Conditions as stated above, select the Accept Award Offer tab, and proceed to accept or decline your aid. 
  • Award Letter: You may accept or decline your financial aid by appropriately marking your choice on the hard copy award letter. Please be sure to sign, date and return the award letter to the Office of Financial Aid via fax: (708) 488-4102 or by mail: 7400 Augusta Street, River Forest, IL 60305.

Returning students will not be mailed a hard copy of the award letter.  They are sent an email (to their Concordia University Chicago email address) notifying them when a new financial aid award is available for online review.  Returning students must accept or decline their offered awards online in Concordia Connect.

STEP 4. Complete the required loan documents.

Both of these requirements can be completed online at studentloans.gov, using the federal FSA user name and password you used to sign the FAFSA application.

  • Master Promissory Note (MPN): This is the actual loan application. After logging in, select “Complete Master Promissory Note,” then choose “Subsidized/Unsubsidized.”
  • Direct Loan Entrance Counseling: Borrowers who are new to CUC are required to complete Entrance Counseling in order to obtain a loan. This counseling session goes over your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It must be completed with CUC listed as the school.
  • Avoid Delays: In order to assure that your student loans will arrive in a timely manner, the Office of Financial Aid strongly encourages students to submit all required documents as soon as possible each academic year.
    • Because your aid must be processed and posted to your student account while you are actively enrolled at least half-time, your Financial Aid file must be complete at least one week before the end of your enrolled class(-es).
    • If your file remains incomplete for any reason (including accepting an offered loan, completing the Master Promissory Note or loan entrance counseling, and/or any other necessary documentation), your aid cannot post and you will have a balance due.
    • Unpaid balances may result in a “hold” on your account, which restricts you from registering for additional classes and/or receiving your transcripts or diploma.

STEP 5. Be aware of important financial aid dates.

October 1: Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will be able to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.

December 1: Priority FAFSA Filing Date for Adult Degree students, to be considered for the Illinois MAP Grant program.  Students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.

March 1: Financial aid packaging is underway. Accepted students with a completed FAFSA on file will receive a written or electronic Financial Aid Award. Students can view, accept and/or decline their financial awards by logging onto Concordia Connect.

April 1: Priority FAFSA Filing Date for graduate students for all types of aid

First bill due date: All financial aid documents, including loan requirements, must be complete by the bill due date, or the student is responsible to make payment arrangements with the Student Business Services Office.

Financial Aid Disbursement Dates: Your financial aid will disburse to your student account during each period of eligible enrollment. If you have a loan awarded for only one semester (fall-only or spring-only), it will post on two separate dates: one half of the awarded amount will post in the beginning of the term, and the remaining half will post after the midway point. For further information on Student Financial Aid Policies, choose the appropriate option below:

Expected 2017-2018 disbursement dates for adult degree students

  • Summer 2017: 5/8/2017* and 7/3/2017*
  • Fall 2017: 8/29/2017* and 10/23/2017*
  • Spring 2018: 1/16/2018* and 3/13/2018*

* Note: Students must meet all financial aid requirements and be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program to have funds disbursed. These dates are estimated and may vary based on the student's actual enrollment.

Expected 2017-2018 disbursement dates for graduate students

  • Summer 2017: 5/15/2017* and 7/10/2017*
  • Fall 2017: 9/5/2017* and 10/30/2017*
  • Spring 2018:1/22/2018* and 3/19/2018*

* Note: Students must meet all financial aid requirements and be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program to have funds disbursed. These dates are estimated and may vary based on the student's actual enrollment.

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